Selection of a Mate

Marriage as an institution for man was ordained by our Heavenly Father and ordered by the Elohim (Angels) at the time of the creation. The first woman, Eve, was created from a rib of Adam being bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Eve became the help meet for Adam and their companionship was a great antitype of the "one flesh" principle of marriage.

God selected the mate for Adam so that he would not live alone (Genesis 2:18). Eve could have been created exactly like Adam was created, but Elohim had a far greater purpose in mind by taking Eve out of Adam. The Apostle Paul explains the importance of the relationship of man to woman in the marriage institution. Paul records "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Ecclesia: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." (Ephesians 5: 28-31)

The Believers First Priority

Since we, as believers in the latter day, cannot create mates out of our own flesh, we have a great responsibility for selecting a mate with whom we can follow the marriage model designed in the scriptures. As in all other aspects of our discipleship, the scriptures can guide us in that selection. The proper mate for a believer should also be committed to the same goals as a believer in "...seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness." This then will become their first focal point in the direction of their life together. They will both know that the greatest commandment of God is "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matthew 22:37)

The focus of the Kingdom will set the tone for a life of service in the Lord, as coworkers in the vineyard. The Apostle Peter speaks of this common effort. "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life." (1 Peter 3:7) Our first and foremost obligation is to our Creator and His plan for this creation for the ultimate glorification of the earth with all the inhabitants of it.

God's Providence

We know that our Heavenly Father desires that we find a mate that will share in our goal of salvation. If we have that confidence, then we have to trust Him to guide us in our search for a mate. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) The wisdom of the Proverbs is also expressed in 19:14, "House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: And a prudent wife is from the Lord." If we have a sincere and pure heart, God's providence will work for us in finding that proper mate that best suited for lives as children of God. "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."(Matthew 7: 7-8). It is worthy to mention that the seeking of a mate by a sister in Christ may be more difficult as the customs of courtship dictate. However, God knows the heart of the believer, whether brother or sister, and works through His infinite love to care for our needs. By the regular attendance at gatherings and bible schools the exposure of brothers and sisters in a wholesome environment can increase the chances of success. There are many examples of brethren who have worked diligently in the vineyard of our Heavenly Father waiting for God's providence and have found that mate later in life. How rewarding it has been for these brethren who trusted in the wisdom of the Father.

A Proper Mate

One of the greatest challenges in this selection process is to determine the correct qualifications for the proper mate. The qualifications, which the world would emphasize, are not necessarily the godly traits that we should seek. "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: But a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." (Proverbs 31: 30) The wisdom of King Solomon is never more profound than in the description of the virtuous woman in this same Proverbs chapter 31. "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is above rubies."(Verse10) "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, So that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil All the days of her life."(11-12) "Strength and honour are her clothing; And she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her." (25-28)

According to the dictionary, virtuousness is defined as moral excellence and righteousness. These same characteristics are described as fruits of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5: 22-23) Paul in writing to Titus in the second chapter of his epistle shows the model of the prospective young husband and wife in the Lord. "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned. "He adds "...teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." (Titus 2: 4-8)

Common Goals

All of this is really a matter of priority. Our first obligation is to please our Heavenly Father by dedicating our lives to His service. He has ordained the institution of marriage as vehicle to enrich our lives and produce godly seed in the Lord. He has armed us with the knowledge of the characteristics and qualifications of a mate that will please Him. He does all of this for our own good and protection as we live our lives of probation. There can be no greater joy than to have a life with one who shares the same dreams for temporal life and share the great hope of eternal life.

Mike Cude, San Antonio, TX